|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced the appointment of Tridem Sports AG as its commercial partner for the exploitation of the commercial rights of the FIS Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 and 2013. Tridem will provide project management, marketing and sponsorship sales services for the EBU.
The EBU welcomes the agreement and looks forward to fruitful cooperation between the two organizations for these important events.
"Winter sports have always been my passion and I am very excited to work with the EBU on the FIS World Ski Championships in 2011 and 2013," commented Christian Pirzer, CEO of Tridem Sports AG.
|Granada team celebrating|
Last week in Brussels, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) granted the organization of the 2015 Winter Universiade to the Spanish City of Granada and to the University of Granada. Spain already hosted the Winter Universiade twice - in Jaca (1981 & 1995) and will welcome the University Games back in 2015 when the legendary Sierra Nevada will be the main setting. `Granada and the Sierra Nevada are a well-known snow sports area', Eduardo Valenzuela, Bid Director said. `Thanks to the 27th Winter Universiade we will be able to start developing the ice sports as well. This will make the region a complete winter sport hotbed.'
The Alpine Skiing, Snowboard and Freestyle competitions will be held in the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort, while the Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon competitions will take place in Puerto de la Ragua. The different skating disciplines will be carried out in Granada. The Universiade will promote the investments in the three competition areas and allow the establishment of a long-term calendar, which includes test competitions from next season onwards, when the Freestyle FIS World Cup will be held in Sierra Nevada. At the same time, a sport promotion program will be set in motion. It will be focused on two specific groups: the students and the training of the technical officials needed to carry out the competitions during the Universiade. This program is expected to lead to substantial support for the national ice and snow sports teams. For more information, visit: http://www.universiadagranada.com ˙
|President Kasper with Croatian hosts|
Photo: Croatian Ski Association
|Farewell Party at Glavic residence|
Photo: Croatian Ski Association
More than 500 representatives of the extended global FIS family gathered at Hotel Croatia in Cavtat-Dubrovnik (CRO) last week for the bi-annual FIS Calendar Conference. Hosted by the Croatian Ski Association, the one week long event enjoyed beautiful sunny skies and truly warm summer weather whilst hundreds of hours many official and unofficial meetings took place. Needless to say, the various terraces, poolside and outside restaurants were popular locations for informal meetings! Felix Ferencak, President of the Croatian Ski Association, Miho Glavic, Board Member and President of the Organizing Committee for the FIS Alpine World Cup in Zagreb, and Director Vedran Pavlek led the Croatian Ski Association's organization and offered the participants outstanding hospitality with a welcome buffet on overlooking the bay, as well as a memorable farewell dinner at the 18th century home of the Glavic family. Thanks to the association's professional staff especially Ana, Nenad and Reno and the hotel's efficient support, the meetings and logistics ran without a hitch. Judging from the number of messages from participants - some of whom are still enjoying a break there - Cavtat-Dubrovnik was a highly appreciated location for the FIS Spring Meetings.
Aside from the socializing, there were great amounts of work undertaken and the various proposals from the FIS Technical Committees will now be forwarded for consideration and decision by the FIS Council in its next meeting that will take place in Vancouver (CAN) on the weekend of 12-14th June.
Seven different Cross-Country Sub-Committees and the main Committee held fruitful meetings from Wednesday to Saturday in Cavtat. The important topics discussed and sent to the FIS Council were spearheaded by the World Cup calendar for the˙2009/2010 season (see here) consisting of 24 World Cup competitions in 11 different countries in North America and Europe. Another subject discussed in great detail is the idea of introducing a multi-stage World Championship on the basis of the Tour de Ski model in the years where no FIS Nordic World Ski Championships or Olympic Games are held.
In terms of the rules, there is a proposal to skip the B-Final in the ladies & men's sprint races in order to have a longer time after the A-Final for showing emotions and interviews on TV. Rules for integrating intermediate sprints for World Cup points in long distance mass start races and the guidelines for nations' boxes were finalized after the successful trial events in the past seasons. Both concepts were introduced in order to add an element of excitement into the competition in the distance races.
For the Tour de Ski, a rule change will allow the racers that have to quit the Tour before reaching the finish line at Alpe Cermis to keep their earned World Cup points from earlier Tour Stages. This is to avoid sick athletes racing the Tour to the end only in order to keep their points.
To better present the sport during the culmination of the season, an approved proposal limits the starting field to the 50 best athletes according to the World Cup standing plus the Continental Cup leaders and the U-23 world champions in the World Cup Final. Meanwhile the Cross-Country Committee disagreed on a proposal to integrate an additional mini-Tour with a three-stage event at the beginning of the season in Kuusamo (FIN).
Contributed by Sandra Spitz
The most important topics for the Ski Jumping Committee included revisions to the prize money method of distribution, length of skis, competition format and introduction of a ladies' team event at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships.
Regarding prize money, the Committee is committed to providing recognition for the performance of the athletes. Prize money is one of the ways to accomplish this. Compared with some of the bigger, tourism-supported snow sports, the jumpers are relatively dependent on prize money, particularly in the current economic climate. That is why the Committee is suggesting the distribution of prize money to the top 30 athletes, with each World Cup point being worth 100 CHF.
To maintain focus on the athletic performance, there are limited opportunities to impact the aerodynamic forces without putting the athletes' safety at stake. The length of the ski is one of these. This is why the Committee proposed the increase of the allowed BMI value by 0.5%, allowing the jumper to be heavier relative to the maximum allowed length of the ski. This change, if approved by the Council, would only apply from the 2010/11 season.
Based on the analysis of the past seasons, it is clear that the competition jury needs better tools to manage the competitions to ensure that the main principles of fairness and safety are met. As possible solutions, there will be two tests conducted during the 2009 Grand Prix series. One of the tests will be using a formula compensating for the differing wind conditions that would be incorporated into the jumper's final point score. According to current models, the difference of 1 m/s in wind speed results in approximately 5m of difference in the length of the jump from the large hill. A prerequisite for implementing such a formula are exact and simultaneous wind measurements.
The second test will focus on trying out whether it is possible to change the starting position during a competition round. Based on the model calculations, the impact of 1m of in-run length can vary from 3-5m in length of the jump. This requires obtaining precise data for the individual hills but would enable the jury to alter the in-run given changes in the external conditions during a competition.
Finally, the Jumping Committee unanimously supported the introduction and implementation of a team event for ladies at the JWSC as from Hinterzarten (GER) in 2010. For the 2009/10 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup calendar, click here.
The rsum of the Nordic Combined meetings during the Dubrovnik week is positive. The participants noted that the new competition format (one jump, followed by a 10km cross-country race) has fundamentally stood the test. For example, the number of competitions shown live on TV doubled compared with the previous season. Live broadcasts could be seen in Norway, Austria, Germany, Finland and Russia along with Eurosport (Eurosport Germany and Eurosport pan-Europe).
The rule changes proposed for Ski Jumping also apply to Nordic Combined. By contrast to the specialist jumpers, however, the Summer Grand Prix will not count as the first competition period (in reference to national quotas).
"For Nordic Combined, our focus is on using the encouraging foundation built last season to effect further consolidation in calendar planning and to continue to improve the general circumstances for our events," commented Walter Hofer, Head of Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined at FIS.
For the 2009/2010 DKB FIS Nordic Combined World Cup calendar click here.
Contributed by Egon Theiner
|Photo: Agence Zoom|
In Alpine Skiing, the main focus of the discussions was adjusting the long-term World Cup calendars for the seasons 2010 to 2013. Refinements were especially made to two ladies' calendars that the FIS Council did not approve in its last meeting and the revised drafts that were approved by majority will now be forwarded to the FIS Council and it will be up to the Council to decide on the organizer of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup finals in 2013 between the two candidates Lenzerheide (SUI) and Meribel (FRA). The organizers of the FIS Junior Alpine World Ski Championships have already been confirmed for the next three seasons, starting with Mont Blanc (FRA) in 2010, followed by Crans Montana in 2011 and Roccaraso in 2012. A new highlight of the next season is the extension of the FIS Alpine World Cup promotional event in Moscow, newly entitled the FIS Alpine Ski Champions Cup, to include a ladies' competition. The event is scheduled to be held on 21st November 2009 this coming season. To view the 2009/2010 calendar click here for ladies and here for men.
The other important topics of focus included the Nations' Team Event which will be assessed by a special Working Group as well as participation rules for qualification races at the FIS World Ski Championships. Effective speed control and athlete safety was the reason for adjustments to super-G course setting guidelines and changes to the homologation criteria for alpine courses. From a classification and FIS points' perspective, rules for the injury status and for retirement and return to competition were revised to ensure fairness and equality.
|Photo: Agence Zoom|
The Freestyle Committee paid a great deal of attention to the Freestyle World Cup calendar since these are the qualification competitions for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The 2009/10 calendar now allows for an adequate number of opportunities to qualify for the limited quota spots and for more than 20 NOC's to select their teams. A break was also introduced before the start of the Games so the teams can recover from the qualification process.
The majority of the time in the Sub-Committee for Rules and Officials and its Working Groups was spent dedicated to refining ski cross rules to make the event ready for `primetime' in its first appearance on the Olympic stage in Vancouver; specifically the rules for ski suits were adjusted to best reflect the competitors' look & feel along with an overhaul of the intentional contact rules and subsequent disqualification as well as the Did Not Finish (DNF) regulations. Aerials and moguls are fully complete presentation packages for their traditionally sold-out presentation in the Olympics
Given the steady development of the ski half-pipe event, the Freestyle Committee took its time to consider its continued development and to gather background information for making a case for its future progression.
Despite the current financial climate, the Freestyle FIS World Cup calendar maintains a program equal to that of last season. It is noteworthy that among the 19 locations in 12 nations, several new resorts and courses are on the program, including Suomu (FIN), Calgary (CAN) and Sierra Nevada (SPA) for moguls (and the World Cup Final), and Alpes d'Huez (FRA), Blue Mountain (CAN), Tryvann - Holmenkollen (NOR) and San Candido (ITA) for ski cross. For complete calendar click here.
|Photo: Agence Zoom|
Approaching an Olympic season, the FIS Snowboard Committee operated on the basis of˙the principle to minimize rule changes for the coming season and focused on promoting the sport and the athletes preparing for the title event. The work in Cavtat-Dubrovnik therefore concentrated on finalizing the World Cup calendar for the 2009/2010 season (click here for the details).˙New sites on the calendar are Seoul with a big air and Telluride (USA). A special request was sent to approval by the FIS Council, namely to approve the organization of the 2010 FIS Junior World Snowboard Championships in August 2009 in the Southern hemisphere in Cardrona (NZE).
General discussions were held on details of the new events, especially the SBX team event that has been tested on a few occasions in conjunction with the FIS World Cup and slopestyle. Rules for˙the team event have already been defined.˙In the long-term perspective, a team event would help introduce a new dimension to the sport and enable the nation rather than only individual athletes stand at the fore.. Development of slopestyle is important because of the growing role of the terrain parks especially for the young riders. Organization of competitions in this environment, such as slopestyle , is therefore key to remaining relevant with these rider generations.
|FIS Athletes' Commission|
The first-ever FIS World Cup Organizers' Seminar was held as the conclusion of the 2009 Calendar Conference in Dubrovnik (CRO) last weekend. More than 230 participants representing organizers in all six FIS Olympic disciplines had made their way to the Adriatic coast to take advantage of the opportunity to exchange experiences with their peers within and across the discipline borders. The seminar began with a common plenary session for all disciplines featuring a welcome by FIS President Gian Franco Kasper and a presentation by marketing and communications specialist Linda Summers, a fellow lecturer with the FIS Academy. Following a panel discussion with most of the elected members of the FIS Athletes Commission representing all the FIS Olympic disciplines, Bruno Marty, Executive Director Winter Sports of marketing and TV rights agency Infront Sports & Media, discussed the key elements to success in today's sports market.
On Sunday, each discipline held their independent sessions focused on items specific to them, with discussion topics ranging from TV viewer analysis to promotional activities, accreditation, media services and the like. After the early week having been focused on the sports activities and calendars, specifically the International Competition Rules (ICR), most of the weekend discussions highlighted the non-sports areas of organization and potential for development therein.
"For us the seminar was a good opportunity to get to know other organizers. We for example had interesting exchanges with the responsible people from Kitzbhel, Garmisch, Oberstdorf, Wengen and so on," commented Jrg Frey, mayor of Schonach and one of organizers of the traditional Schwarzwaldpokal (Black Forest Trophy) in Nordic Combined.
"The OC Seminar was well thought through, pioneering and motivating. Something is happening. We look forward to continuing direct and fruitful exchanges," added Gernot Mussner, Communications Director of the Val Gardena/Grden FIS Alpine Ski World Cup events..
"I was impressed that so many OCs were actively taking part in our OC seminar, coming from all over including Central Europe, Scandinavia, Russia as well as North America. I especially appreciated their contributions to the development and promotion of our sport through innovative ideas for side events and promotional activities. We all agreed that the World Cup is not only high level sport, it is an event," said Vegard Ulvang, Chairman of the FIS Cross-Country Committee.
Photo: Rolf Hicker
Since we have heard from many National Ski Associations that they have not been able to find sufficient or suitable accommodation in Whistler during the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in February 2010, Dr. Bob Morrell (CAN), member of the FIS Medical Committee and a local, has indicated that he is happy to try to connect those that still need some assistance with some local contacts. Please contact Dr Morrell directly for details.